A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Front Cover
S. P. Cerasano
Psychology Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 211 pages
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With Shylock's pound of flesh and Portia's golden ring,The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most controversial, disturbing and unforgettable plays.
Combining accessible commentary with a range of reprinted materials, S. P. Cerasano:
*explores the contexts of the play, including early modern images of Venice, the commercialism of the play, Shakespeare's theatre and London, and images of Jewishness
*samples modern criticism of Shakespeare's Merchant, grouped into sections on The Economic Framework, Choosing and Risking, and Shylock and Other Strangers
*offers an invaluable discussion of the play in performance, considering crucial staging issues and changing interpretations of the roles of Portia and Shylock
*closely examines key passages of the work, providing both commentary and extensively annotated sections of play text
*prepares readers for additional study of the play with a useful guide to further reading.
Assuming no prior knowledge of the play, this sourcebook is the essential guide to one of the most haunting works of English drama.
  

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Contents

Key Passages
3
Contextual Overview
7
Jews in Venice and London
15
Chronology
22
Venice and Venetian Life
32
Merchants Capitalism and the Controversy over Usury
38
Virtuous Women and Learned Ladies
46
Critical History
55
Modern Criticism
79
Choosing and Risking
88
The Work in Performance
97
The Debate about Portia
119
Staging Issues
126
Introduction
133
Further Reading
199
Copyright

Early Critical Reception
64

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

S. P. Cerasano is the Edgar W. B. Fairchild Professor of Literature at Colgate University, Hamilton NY

Bibliographic information